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  #21  
Old 03-24-2009, 03:58 PM
harvester harvester is offline
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Default Re: Scottish Highland Cattle

i guess it depends on your taste buds. I cant stand a heavy milk anymore than i can stand to drink a glass of cream. its disgusting and sticks, ikity poo!!
cream harbors the heaviest flavors, concentrated flavors.
the highest butterfat producing goat that i know of is boers, to me their milk is far from tasty, ive tried several from several farms including my own and come to the same conclusion, great for butter making, horrible for drinking.
I like a light refreshing milk, not a heavy thick creamy milk. I used to put pygmy milk in the freezer untill it got slushy and drink it like a milkshake it was so sweet.
but ive never had any other goats milk that was heavy to butterfat that i would call quality table milk.
but then i dont like whole milk in the store either.
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  #22  
Old 03-25-2009, 04:54 AM
Anon001 Anon001 is offline
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Default Re: Scottish Highland Cattle

Quote:
Originally Posted by harvester
i guess it depends on your taste buds. I cant stand a heavy milk anymore than i can stand to drink a glass of cream. its disgusting and sticks, ikity poo!!
*

If that's the case, then you need to be buying 2% or skim milk... The butter fat only varies in dairy goats from 3.5% to 4.6% with the one exception being the Nigeria Dwarf at 6%.

Quote:
cream harbors the heaviest flavors, concentrated flavors.
the highest butterfat producing goat that i know of is boers
LMBO... *Boers are NOT dairy goats. *They are a meat goat.

And my apologies for not intentionally hijacking this thread.

Quote:
I like a light refreshing milk, not a heavy thick creamy milk. I used to put pygmy milk in the freezer untill it got slushy and drink it like a milkshake it was so sweet.
The ONLY thing that changes the sweetness of the milk from one goat breed to the other is the diet! *

Quote:
but ive never had any other goats milk that was heavy to butterfat that i would call quality table milk.
All goat milk has heavy butterfat... there isn't a lot of difference from 3.5% to 4.6%.. some but that isn't all that much.

I think you know very little about dairy...period.

If you put goats from different breeds on the same diet, you wouldn't be able to distinguish a difference in taste. *Someone might be able to taste slightly more or less "richness" but other than that they would taste identical. *YOU, I am convinced wouldn't know the difference in any type of milk.

These points I make are not my opinion as you as you so often claim about my comments.. These are facts which is what the OP needs.... not misguided opinion from someone that has experienced goat milk from obviously bad dairy practices.
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  #23  
Old 03-25-2009, 12:41 PM
crmemory crmemory is offline
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Default Re: Scottish Highland Cattle

I am enjoying all this info. I may stick to the original plan of trying to acquire a heifer calf as well as some goats, and see how the goats milk works out, but I think you all have almost talked me out of the Highlands. I like the idea of heritage breeds, so I will have to see what else is available in my area other than Dexters. I also did not realize the differences in goats milk.

So here's a question, since goat's milk is naturally "homogenized," can you do the same things with it that you can do with cow's milk? Can you seperate the cream as easily?
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  #24  
Old 03-25-2009, 01:40 PM
harvester harvester is offline
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Default Re: Scottish Highland Cattle

My apologies to crmemory. your thread is about cattle and soforth, not about who knows more than who..back on topic.
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  #25  
Old 03-25-2009, 01:44 PM
harvester harvester is offline
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Default Re: Scottish Highland Cattle

Quote:
Originally Posted by crmemory
I am enjoying all this info. *I may stick to the original plan of trying to acquire a heifer calf as well as some goats, and see how the goats milk works out, but I think you all have almost talked me out of the Highlands. *I like the idea of heritage breeds, so I will have to see what else is available in my area other than Dexters. *I also did not realize the differences in goats milk. *

So here's a question, since goat's milk is naturally "homogenized," can you do the same things with it that you can do with cow's milk? *Can you seperate the cream as easily?
yes you can pretty much. knowing that goats milk will produce a softer cheese than cows milk will. yogurt will be much looser etc..but you can do anything with it you can do with cows milk.
with it being homogenized its easier to put it through a cream separator than to skim the top. a cream separator will extract the fat globulins that dont raise to the top. It always suprises me how much cream will come out of a couple gallons of goats milk as compared to skimming.
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  #26  
Old 03-25-2009, 03:29 PM
crmemory crmemory is offline
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Default Re: Scottish Highland Cattle

No harm done . *Thanks for the tip. *

I have worked with animals my whole life, both personally and professionally, and one thing I have learned is there are "standards that are to be expected among most animals of a species, and then there are the exceptions to the rule. *I have had "normal" animals, and not so normal ones. *I currently own a brain-damaged cat (though no one would know that looking at her) who does not act like a typical cat at all. *At one point, I seriously had a horse that would eat raw fish (long story), a goose who raised chicks and was best friends with a pygmy goat! *The goat also thought it was a dog, and would act like it half the time, even curling up to sleep on our doormat. *It was not uncommon to see a "trail" of animals walking around our yard that looked something like a goose, followed by chickens, followed by a goat, followed by a dog. *Along the same lines, I also had one horse that would allow the goats and chickens to stand on her back, while another of our horses would stomp and kill any animal shorter than her belly. *There are so many variables when it comes to raising animals! *I love hearing about everyone's experience, as it helps to get an overall picture of not just the average "norm" but also the exceptions to the rules!
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  #27  
Old 03-25-2009, 04:47 PM
harvester harvester is offline
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Default Re: Scottish Highland Cattle

I much agree!
and hearing your out of the norm animal stories..lol..made me think of a few i had.
a horse that refused to be ridden by anyone but a turkey. she would push the turkey off of the fence in a way that it either would have to fall to the ground or get on her back. she was very satisfied and passive when she had her turkey..
I had a goat born with dwarfism once. between me and the vet we kept him alive for almost a year. he was very happy and would follow me everywhere. every time i sat down he had to be in my lap. this was a full size alpine with legs roughly 8" long. sweetest goat i ever owned. he ultimately died of a heart problem.
I had a baby chick one time under the hen. while gathering the days chicks i picked him up and thought aww, its a weak one..ofcourse he died. after closer examination i found he had 4 wings and 4 legs! my vet put him formaldehyde for me. I still have him.
I had a dog that suffered from a high temp and was brain damaged. she adopted a kitten and raised it. the cat was bigger than her but she wouldnt ever go anywhere without her cat. she died at 13 and her cat died 4 months later.
Ive had chickens that have hatched duck eggs (even tho its said it cant be done..lol) never saw a hen so upset when her babies went into the duck pond.
I had a horse that protected me like a dog, once while riding, a bunch of boys cornered us against a barbed wire fence and was trying to push me off the horse and take my horse. he simply reached over and grabbed their leg and yanked them off their own horses, scared the horses off..the boys had a long walk home and the cops got them before they could make it home..lol
had a ewe that refused to breed to anything but goats.
had a pygmy who ruptured her uterus with twins, only to survive and breed and produce the next year.
Its funny how animals will do what some claim is impossible..they arent much different from us.
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  #28  
Old 03-25-2009, 05:00 PM
crmemory crmemory is offline
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Default Re: Scottish Highland Cattle

LOL! I agree, and totally believe all of it. When I had the horse that liked to stomp and try to kill smaller animals, she was actually the one I loved to ride in the back woods. We had a problem with wild dog packs in the area, and they were scary. If we encountered a pack, all I had to do was let the horse see them, and give her some rein! It could be a rough ride, but she never failed to send those dogs running with their tails between their legs! And, fyi, she was only about 13.3 hands. Just feisty as all get out!

You mentioned your dog and cat, and it reminded me of my parents large chihuahua who took over raising a kitten. she literally stole that kitten right away from its mother. That cat grew to be twice her size, and even at a year and half old, would still try to nurse on that dog!

Oh, I could tell story of story of things I have seen.....brings back so many memories!
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  #29  
Old 03-26-2009, 02:18 PM
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Default Re: Scottish Highland Cattle

lol it does doesnt it?
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  #30  
Old 04-12-2009, 11:12 PM
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Default Re: Scottish Highland Cattle

I like the Belties too. I have read alot on them. Very winter hardy breed,
here is a guy who has the Highland. I have talked with him and he is very nice .
http://www.footstepsfarm.com/heritagebreeds.html

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  #31  
Old 05-20-2009, 03:35 PM
goodwifefarm goodwifefarm is offline
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Default Re: Scottish Highland Cattle

Quote:
Originally Posted by crmemory
*Also, while I plan to milk the goats, for now, I have not been impressed with the raw goats milk I have had. *It tasted like a soapy goat to me! :-/ *My hope is that I will aquire the taste and make life simpler later, but because milk is a staple in our diet,

--I have researched many of the dairy and meat goats out there, but is there a particular breed that tends to have less risk of a "goat" flavor in the milk, or is this simply a personal issue for me and my family?

*
Hi
If that goat milk tasted like a "soapy goat" then they are doing something wrong! Fresh raw goats milk shouldn't taste any different from whole cows milk from the store. I have kept my raw milk in the refrigerator for up to 10 days before it gets even a little bit of a goat flavor, and it still didn't taste bad, just a tad goaty! I have Kinder goats and I think they are just the best! Another lady in my area sells goat milk and she has Alipines. I have tasted milk from her goats and it tastes ALOT different from mine.....not sure if it is the breed or the way we feed (her's are dry lot, mine are free to roam 5 acres) but there is a marked difference.

Good luck with whatever you decide and hope you get a chance to taste some GOOD goat milk! ;D

sarah
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  #32  
Old 05-03-2011, 04:42 AM
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Since it's been a couple of years since this thread had any posts, I wanted to bring the subject back up. I'm looking seriously at getting a couple of Highlands later this year. We used to raise 150 or so black Angus and Herefords annually and my grand-dad kept about a 100 head dairy herd of Holsteins as I was growing up, so I have a little familiarity with cattle, but not with Highlands specifically. I've read and re-read this thread, as well as almost everything else I can find, but was curious if anyone who discussed it previously had gone forward with getting Highlands? Any experiences to share? My main concern is how well they'll handle the heat and humidity of the Ohio valley. I know they can handle the cold.

As a tangent, I also have a growing interest to train a pair of Highlands as oxen. An Amish friend kind of piqued my interest in oxen, and Highlands seemed like they might make a fun breed to train. Does anyone have any general oxen experience to pas along?
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  #33  
Old 05-03-2011, 01:10 PM
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My family had Highlanders for several years and loved them. We crossbred with beef bulls,(mostly Simental and Limosin) which made for a faster growing beefier animal, but the cows still had smaller calves and never needed any help calving. As long as we kept them outside of a corral, the disease and scours were non existent in the calves.
Our vet bills were cut substantially with the cross.

By crossing with a polled breed, and dehorning any calves with horns young, the market price wasn't really any lower than other breeds, but if they caught the long hair gene, that knocked the price down.

We sold the origninal ranch and got out of raising cows for several years, but my parents bought a small place(110 acres) and wanted the milk and meat again so without hesitation we went back to the Highlanders. We will be using a Highland bull this time as now the market for on the rail beef that is grass finished and raised without hormones or antibiotics is growing exponetially, we sell to individuals instead of through the sales ring to people who want the high quality beef of the Highlander. It is a specialty item no different than organically raised fruits or vegitables. You have to work to get the contacts and develop your market base, but the quality of the product makes that easier than you might think.

We are currently breaking a pair of Highlanders to yoke. They are such gentle, intelligent animals it isn't nearly as hard as I thought it would be. We have used draft horses for 50 years, and never thought to go to oxen as we always had the horses. We still raise Belgian horses, but the novelty of a working team of Highlanders means we can get paid to drive them pulling floats in parades, another source of income.

Currently we are using cows to work instead of steers as when you castrate a Highlander it does strange things to their horns, and the cows have the wide sweeping horns and a beautiful coat of hair that really shines when cleaned and combed. Combine that with colors such as the red, blonde, black with white horns or duns, a matched team is something to see

They are such an ancient breed that they really catch people's attention. There are several breeders in this state that didn't exist when we were raising them before, and that makes getting new stock and blood easier.

They are light grazers, will browse and rustle up their own dinner so supplimental feeds are not as required as for beef breeds.
The long hair protects them from many flies and parasites, the hair over their eyes protects from wind, sun and flies so they have a lower incidence of cancer eye and pink eye than other breeds.

They can withstand horrendous cold and wind and rain as long as they can be out and moving so they don't get wet in a corral. Muck sticks in the hair and ruins its value to protect so feedlot situations aren't good for them. But let them out in a field to fend for themselves and you don't have to worry about them.
They don't have the subcutanious layer of fat that beef stock has because the hair is their insulation. They put the fat around their kidneys like wild animals so the meat is leaner than standard breeds.
The hair also insulates against heat somewhat as long as they can get to shade. The breed actually does well as far south as Texas and Missouri.

For a hardy animal that you can eat, milk or work, I don't think the Highlander has any equal. Add to that the fact they are gentle and intelligent, need very little care or help calving, and the lower vet bills, I could hardly reccomend a breed more for small producers or homesteaders.
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  #34  
Old 05-03-2011, 03:18 PM
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Thanks for the detailed response, Wolfsbane! Because of my work schedule I'm looking for as self sufficient a breed as I can find. From everything I've read, Highlands seem to fit that bill pretty well. We're looking to start with a pair of bred heifers or cows (haven't decided which yet) this year, add a bull next year and maybe a 3rd female later next year. I've got 7 acres of good Brome/Orchard grass pasture to graze them on with another 10 acres of various grass and/or fodder to rotate them to in season, so I don't think they'll be too crowded. Based on what I've read, my plan is to let them free range as much as possible, but have a shed available to them to use as needed for calving, etc.

Our intention is to raise 2-3 head per year to have beef for ourselves and a couple of friends and family, so marketability isn't much of a concern. It would be nice if we had a girl that was a good milker, but I don't really know what to expect there since there isn't much available data on Highlands for dairy purposes. I understand that they have a very rich milk, but have no idea what volume they produce. I expect it varies a bit from cow to cow, as with any other beef breed.

My biggest concern is when it comes time to butcher. So many of the cows I grew up with were so ornery that it was almost welcome to get rid of them. From what I've seen of Highlands, and especially with a small herd, I 'spect that will be a good bit tougher to do.

Thanks again! Your information has been a great help.
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  #35  
Old 05-04-2011, 03:50 AM
annabella1 annabella1 is offline
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I've never raised highland cattle, but I once got a chance to taste some and it was the best tasting beef I ever ate.
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  #36  
Old 05-04-2011, 12:54 PM
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Glad to help Krapgame.

I agree, a small herd of cattle that are gentle and fun to work with that have distinct personalities are a lot harder to process than some other beef animals. When we had some angus, it was a perverse pleasure to process them.

It is easy to make pets out of the Highlanders. My father has a 2 month old calf right now that will eat alfalfa cake treats out of his hand already. If you socialize them, you won't have a problem with them.

They don't work well from horses or "cowboying", but worked on foot, moving slow, or following a bucket of cake, they are a dream to herd or move or load.
They do have horns and know how to use them, but I have never had an aggressive cow, at least not after the calf is a couple weeks old. They are very protective of their calves.
I have never been hurt by a Highlander, but when we raised beef stock, kicks, bruises, knockdowns etc were a common occurance.

We don't do a production milking on the cows, we usually have one or 2 that we take a gallon from occasionally as we don't want to waste the milk, (we don't use a lot), and the cows can still raise their calves.
The milk is very rich, great cream for butter etc, and nothing is better than fresh natural cream on fresh picked strawberries

I wholeheartedly agree with Annabella1, the meat is fantastic!
A Highlander can be grass finished, no need for corn to finish them.
I have heard, (from breeder books) that the English Royal Family keeps a herd of Scottish Highlander cattle at their estate at Balmoral as their personal beef supply. I can't confirm that, but after raising Highlanders, I have no problem believing it.

They are a very intelligent animal, so if you let them think through something, they will do what you want without problems. We load them in trailers by throwing in some cake and they will walk right in. No problems. We don't use grain or corn for them, they do better without it, but they do like their cake and it is great for working them, so I think it is a good investment.
They take a little longer to finish, but I think the end result is worth the wait.
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  #37  
Old 05-14-2016, 06:17 AM
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Wolfsbane,

Just wanted to drop a note and give an update on our Highland experience. We'll soon be 2 years since getting our first Highland, our fold has since increased to 16 head now, including 7 that were born here. Just wanted you to know that I really appreciate the info you shared on this. So far, they've been everything you said, and more.

Very intelligent animals, wonderful dispositions. We've got them on 17 acres of pasture and they do great, even without any grain supplement. Easiest cattle to handle I've ever been around. Just like you said, if we give them time to think about the situation they'll do almost anything we ask of them. We don't have any that will stand for milking yet, and that's the only disappointment that I have in them. But in fairness, I've not really taken time to try to break one to milk either so it's not all their fault.

We started out with a single two year old heifer that came from someone locally who grew it for a 4-H project, then added a second Highland/Guernsey cross and her bull calf. A few months later we bought a herd sellout from a lady a few hours away, 2 cows, herd bull, 2 year old heifer and 2 yearling calves, one heifer and one bull. The bull was a very impressive animal, but he was getting old enough that he was a little opinionated and we started getting a little uncomfortable with him so he was sold last Fall. And also we wanted to keep some of his offspring as breeding stock, so we needed to make way for something different. He weighed right at 1800#. Right now we have a Hereford bull that I'm going to breed the cows to this Fall and looking forward to the Hereford/Highland cross. I've read a lot of good things about that. In the next year or so I plan to get another Highland bull as a calf and get it dehorned and we'll probably go back to a full blood Highland herd again.

One thing I get a kick out of, when they're grazing near the road, cars will slow down and often stop to look at them. Not many people are familiar with the breed around here and we get a lot of questions about them. They really are attention getters for sure. We've not yet processed any but expect to process our first in another couple months. An acquaintance who grass finished Herefords told me once that he thought they got their best flavor if butchered after pasturing on fresh grass for a couple months and in our area that means late June/early July. So we're looking forward to that. I did get a chance to sample some Highland roasts from some other friends a couple years ago and was impressed with it. Expecting ours to be at least as good. Our long term plan is to keep 5-6 cows, breed for early Fall calves and butcher at about 32-24 months for a target of around 1000#. I've already learned that we could easily sell more of them than we have enough hay and pasture to keep.

So far we've had no issues with disease and they seem to have no trouble delivering 40-50# calves completely without assistance. I've been impressed with how quickly newborn calves are up and mobile compared to other calves I remember from years ago. And the little fuzzy calves are just so darn cute.

So anyway, I wanted to take a minute to say thanks for taking time to answer questions a few years ago. It definitely helped to cement the decision to pursue Highlands and I couldn't be more satisfied that we did.
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  #38  
Old 05-15-2016, 08:44 PM
jvcstone jvcstone is offline
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have a question about the highlanders--My goats have just about finished with my acreage, and I've been thinking about a small breed cattle --highlanders being one, dexters another.

living in Texas, I'm wondering how the longhaired highlanders would handle the heat??? Any thoughts on that??

JVC
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  #39  
Old 05-17-2016, 01:20 AM
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krapgame krapgame is offline
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As Wolfsbane said in one of his posts, and from what I've read a number of places, as long as they have access to plenty of shade and water they should be alright. There's a number of Highland breeders in Texas.

http://www.heartlandhighlandcattleas.../members/texas

Ours did thin their hair considerably in the heat of the Summer last year, I expect that's probably common for the breed.

Hope that helps. Good luck!
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  #40  
Old 05-17-2016, 12:43 PM
jvcstone jvcstone is offline
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thanks for the link,
JVC
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